Anyone who has ever quit anything knows all too well that it’s never just about the cessation of the thing. It’s about what drives us to the precipice, and what we discover beyond it.
And there’s the first-day-back jitters of seeing my teammates. Some of them I’ve met before, and it will be a nice little reunion. Others I’ve known for years simply as faces in a box on a Zoom screen. As we come together for the first time, what will we talk about? What is the proper response to that simple inquiry: “How are you?”
Two boulder-sized milestones – stacked on top of one another, heaped on top of me. The kind of life-altering moments that can exhaust your emotional faculties so completely that you need a few weeks of alternating deep tissue massages and tear-soaked therapy sessions just to get back to baseline. And I got a twofer over one long weekend.
I finally found a natural counterbalance for all that dogged seeking. It didn’t matter if I was shopping in Scotland or sipping coffee in Savannah, the highlight of every trip was always the same, and somehow perfectly unique each time. Perhaps driven by a subconscious urge to recharge, I learned to ground myself with microdoses of actual human connection.
For three years I avoided stagnation by piling on more chaos, traveling, burning through my savings, ending up back at my parents’ house to let my bank account refill. Yesterday, I sent 50,000 carefully culled and crafted words to an editor with the intention of turning them into a book. Those two things could not have coexisted…